Let's be honest: This election is exhausting for everyone — the people running for office, the people reporting on other people running for office, the people reading or viewing the reporting about people running for office. The presidential candidates are the least-liked in history, and their debates were unpleasant, anxiety-inducing affairs. We're literally counting down the days to Nov. 8.
We aren't the only ones. America, meet Charlyn Daugherty.
Her husband, Gerald Daugherty, was first elected to the Travis County Commissioners Court in 2002, and has been in the job most of the time since (he lost his seat on the central Texas board in 2008, but was reelected in 2012). And while the job of a county commissioner in Austin is certainly important — the commissioners court is really a county council, which sets tax rates and fees for county services, and administers the county budget — Daugherty's new campaign ad seems to nod to the fact that the title of “county commissioner” isn't one that inspires voters in the same way that, say, “president” does.
So Daugherty's campaign decided to have a little fun. It portrays its candidate as an over-the-top policy wonk, a man who really loves the intricacies of the municipal code. A lot. And it doesn't reference his political party even once. That's probably a good calculation on his part; Daugherty is a moderate Republican in a red state, living in a liberal city.
The ad opens with Daugherty washing dishes and rattling on about the county jail's budget as his wife, Charlyn, gives the camera a knowing glance.
“Gerald doesn't have any hobbies,” she sighs.
In the next mini-scene, Daugherty ticks off various tax rates as a bored-looking neighbor's eyes glaze over.
It's a well-calculated caricature of Daugherty's actual work on the commissioners court; the ad manages to poke fun at the dry bureaucracy of county-level politics while still portraying the candidate as competent and engaged. It avoids his political leanings pretty much entirely as Daugherty takes on household chores, grills meat and does laundry — spouting municipal factoids and statistics the entire time.
“Please reelect Gerald,” Charlyn Daugherty says wearily at the close of the spot. “Please.”